When we first launched the 3rd edition of The Free Thinker House in November 2016, we had a big community gardening day where we created new beds and planted seeds and starter plants. The gardening days are always my favorite because you get a diversity in the ages and backgrounds of people who are interested in attending a gardening event. I love the feeling of seeing people in our community garden, laughing, putting their hands in the soil, and being a part of a community.
In addition to planting Fig, Olive, Papaya, and Lemon trees, we also planted okra, spinach, sorrel, arugula, kale, dill, basil, cilantro, and so much more! As the season progressed, my partner and I built two 4 foot by 4 foot “Square-foot” gardens in the front yard. We planted on box with swiss chard, kale, and eggplant. The other box we filled with melons! We planted watermelons, cantaloupe, and one I have never heard of called papaya dew. We were very excited and hopeful for a nice bounty from our first planting at the community space.
Unfortunately, in Houston we have lots of borers which invade the roots and vines of squash and melons. The borers killed the majority of our crops while we were on the road for the Decentralize Your Life Tour this summer. And then Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August and I was certain we lost all of our remaining plants. However, once the water receded I went to the garden and found that one of our huge basil plants survived, as well an okra plant, and a few eggplant bushes. I went to the front yard box to check on the melon patch and found that most of the plants were killed by the sewage water from flooding. But, there were 4 vines left with little tiny melons that survived!
Ever since then, Miriam and I have been babying these plants to keep them alive. Not only watering them daily and weeding them, but also talking to them. Yeah, I know, some of you think I am crazy, but do the research (or read my first book!) and you will see that plants are alive and aware – even if in some way that humans don’t quite understand yet. So yeah, we talk to the plants, we tell them how much we appreciate and value them. We let them know how much potential they hold within each seed and mostly, let them know they are safe and not alone. This practice definitely didn’t hurt because the melons are still growing and yesterday we harvested the first ripe melon!
As you can see, this melon turned out bright and beautiful! Personally, I do not like melons, but I enjoy growing them and sharing with friends. The best part of growing food, however, is the SEEDS! The few seeds we planted turned into vines and gave us this magnificent fruit which contained at least one hundred seeds! We cleaned and dried the seeds and now we don’t have to buy anymore for the next season. That’s right, by harvesting your seeds and saving them you are not beholden to Monsanto or any other seed company. Planting seeds and growing your own food is a huge step towards independence and sustainability! Even if you can’t maintain a huge garden it’s a worthy experience to grow something!
After harvesting the melon and cleaning the seeds I started thinking more deeply about the power of planting seeds. Not only the seeds we plant in the Earth, but the seeds we plant everyday through our thoughts, words, and actions. You know, the seeds that start out as a thought and then manifest into speaking the thought aloud before acting upon it. If the seed is something positive it manifests and grows into new relationships, experiences, and lessons. If the seed is coming from a place of hurt or pain, it might fester and turn into equally important (but possibly painful) experiences and lessons. The point is that you decide what types of seeds you plant and what fruits they bear.
Don’t you want to sow seeds of love, liberty, and empowerment that will inspire and uplift those around you? I do.
That’s the very reason I chose to go on tour and speak with people. I found value in leaving the comforts of my home and spending 9 weeks on the road to communicate extremely important and necessary ideas to my brothers and sisters. Every night we shared meditation and discussion. I opened my heart and mind and shared my story of drug addiction, depression, recovery, journalism, and holistic living. I did so without attachment to the outcomes. I know that the best I can do is to compassionately plant seeds rather than attempting to force my way.
The thing is, we are planting seeds everyday, in every moment with our words and actions. What message are the seeds we plant sending? Will our seeds help those closest to us find their own strength and courage? Or will they break them down, discourage or demean them? It’s up to us to decide because seeds are one of the most valuable currencies in existence. Whether you are talking about playing in the soil or speaking your truth, you are planting seeds, both physical and literal.